Ultimately, every business is in the business of growth, regardless of structure, region, or industry. With the dual responsibility of employment and customer service, every business strives for future security, and successful expansion. Contracts are a core part of that journey because they govern every aspect of the operation of your business. Each area – from sales and delivery, to all administrative functions – are defined by the content of legal agreements, which means that particular attention must be paid to their creation and management.
Contract templates are essentially skeleton legal documents created for specific areas and functions, which can then be tailored with detail pertaining to a particular use. The design and implementation of contract templates is an important milestone in the expansion of an organisation and making the most of these documents can go a long way to ensuring the sustainability of future growth. If contracts are a core part of your operation, then your contract templates are a vital building block for all activity. It is the way in which contract templates are created that makes them such a powerful tool.
How are contract templates created?
If contract templates are skeleton legal documents that are ready for customisation, then the point is clearly that the basic work has already been completed. This includes foundational aspects of document creation, such as formatting. For legal agreements, formatting will encompass sections that generate the conventional elements of contracts:
- Party details
- Contract duration
- Key terms definitions
- Details of goods/services/deliverables to be provided
- Payment schedule
- Details of any insurances and indemnities required and provided
- Details of penalties
- Details of renewal and renegotiation options and conditions
- Agreed termination conditions
- Details of special conditions and the circumstances in which they apply
The content of many of these basic sections will be the result of a standardisation process, undertaken to determine clauses and language that pertain to most legal agreements in that business area, in a general way. For example, while a new employment agreement may include a remuneration package that is negotiated and specific to the new employee, standard terms and conditions will apply, such as responsibilities of employee and corporation with regards to conduct and role parameters. These will be terms and conditions previously agreed within the organisation governance structure, written and approved by legal staff, and signed off by senior personnel.
How do contract templates help move your business forward?
It is the standardisation process that makes the design and implementation of contract templates an important milestone in the expansion of your business. This is because the process achieves four things:
- Business review
The standardisation of the terms and conditions of your contracts requires a thorough and comprehensive review of your business and its practices. This provides the opportunity for an honest appraisal of each business area, the processes each involves, and the associated productivity levels. This can then also be used to investigate areas of inefficiency and workflow bottlenecks, while also highlighting any gaps in personnel training. In this way, the process of standardising the contract terms and conditions of your business becomes a multi-purpose activity.
- Efficiency boost
In standardising your terms and conditions, the daily function of each business area becomes more efficient. In addition to providing the opportunity to take remedial action with regards to any issues of business processes or personnel training, efficiency is boosted by the fact that contracts are no longer created from scratch. Having pre-approved terms, conditions, clauses, and language in place means that staff can focus on the negotiable detail – reducing the time needed to activate contracts and begin new business relationships, agreements, and projects.
By having standardised contract templates in place, and efficiency boosted across your operation as a result, your business can more easily achieve the scalability required to future-proof your enterprise. Scalability – the ease with which a business can respond to fluctuations in demand – is essential for success in an ever-shifting economy, and having your terms and conditions agreed and in place as standard means that processes can be scaled up quickly, as necessary, without impacting other business areas in a negative way.
Standardisation of contract terms and conditions within templates is one of the fastest ways to reach compliance targets, because it ensures that each agreement includes the basic terms agreed by company leadership. This reduces the incidence of human error arising from staff creating contracts from scratch, while also reducing the likelihood of delays and missed actions.
While standardised contract templates can help to move your business forward in terms of review, efficiency, scalability, and compliance, this is only true if you take steps to ensure that all staff are accessing and using the most up to date versions of your documents. The way to provide such a guarantee is with the implementation of Contract Management Software.
The Contract Management Software solution
The best examples of Contract Management Software packages, such as Symfact, are platform-based designs built around a single, centralised contract repository. This enables your business to create a comprehensive library of standardised contract templates, while ensuring that personnel are using only the most up to date, approved versions.
Using a Microsoft Word extension, editable templates can be created to address any domain required, while a drag and drop interface allows you to move documents straight from a PC to the Contract Management platform. Permission-based access control then ensures that all activity and version changes can be tracked in a transparent way that guarantees full accountability.
Going further, and in addition to a library of full contract templates, your centralised contract repository can incorporate a collection of specific standardised clauses and language, which boosts efficiency even higher. As personnel work to negotiate and customise pre-approved contract templates, it serves the productivity of your business to maximise the opportunity to provide effective, time-saving resources to the team members responsible for delivering accurate agreements.
Contact Symfact today to discuss your contract template library, and discover how you can optimise its use for greater efficiency.